Thrifting & Circuit Scribe

I went to the thrift store right after I watched Punya Mishra’s video on Teaching Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Content and Pedagogy, and it honestly made me think about myself and how I’ve been creative over the past 8 years as an educator.

I’ve made up a lot of board games, created projects that allow students to use technology or create using art and while also incorporating Spanish content throughout.  As I’ve been unboxing my Maker Kit, the Circuit Scribe, I felt a little, not necessarily incompetent, but I’d say a little uneasy.  It feels like it’s been FOREVER since I took any form of science class, let alone the fact that I don’t personally remember ever getting to play much with creating circuits.  Now that I think about it, maybe the last time I did anything with electricity was in 3rd or 4th grade when we used a potato to conduct electricity to make a lightbulb turn on.

So ultimately, this task was quite out of the box at first, like what can I create using electric currents to help my students understand Spanish content.

I sent out a few Tweets and got a couple responses, as well as e-mailed my instructors for #CEP811, and everyone has told me to think about how I can incorporate an interactive notebook, or create a game.

I started browsing the web for ideas on what people have done with the Circuit Scribe kit and found some interesting resources, such as the following:

This website is cool because it’s an AutoDesk that allows you to play around and draw out what you want to do first so you can then create it in real life:
Eduporium had some interesting ideas too and showed off some other educators who are using the Circuit Scribe in their classroom:
Pinterest – #circuitscribe  — and began following the CircuitScribe boards
Also this entry into the Maker Faire was pretty neat – seeing all these students create game boards using the Circuit Scribe pen
I also searched through YouTube Videos and found this specific one talking about how the currents work:
And this one, where someone created a game, but also used a Makey Maker Kit:
*I may end up purchasing a Makey Makey kit within the next week to try to elaborate on my lesson for my CEP 811 class.
Circuit Scribe Ultimate Kit (32 Pieces)
I unpacked and played around with my kit and realized that one of my switches (the DPDT x 2 switch) is broken — so I knew right off the bat that  whatever my plan was, I’d be down one piece to my kit.
I played around with the circuit scribe with one of my friend’s kids (she’s 7 years old) and she was completely obsessed with the kit.  We were doing the workbook activities and she was totally mesmerized by the activities. We even talked a little bit about electricity and she read out loud some of the prompts underneath each of the drawings.
It’s exciting to see, because when I translate this in to an activity for my own class, even though they are in high school, I still feel like they will be excited.
After playing around with Circuit Scribe, I also had to go to the thrift store to find things that we could incorporate with my kit.

I went to a local GoodWill store, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a thrift store, and I honestly could’ve spent hours in there… there’s so many gadgets and gizmos in there and things to look at. Like the saying goes “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,” right?


I originally picked up some spoons, this Bionicle game for 50 cents (mostly because it had some cool game pieces in it) and a Dominos set.

I decided to use the dominos set, and use 2 dominos along with the maker kit.


The idea behind this is that I’d have a few sentences and my student(s) had to figure out whether they’d use Ser or Estar (both mean “To Be” in Spanish).  When they put the correct piece down on the part of the paper that says SER or ESTAR, a light would turn on, on the piece to say whether or not the student is correct. If the student got it incorrect, the battery light would say it’s shorted.

Step 1. Take two dominos pieces and wrap them up with a piece of paper and tape each domino to an LED light from the kit, Then, write “SER” on one and “ESTAR” on the other.


Step 2. Write out a sentence on a sheet of paper leaving a blank space as to where SER or ESTAR would be in the sentence and create a “game board” that looks like this using the Circuit Scribe sheet:

*You have to make sure that when drawing, one circuit is drawn with an additional path so that it shorts the circuit and the red indicator light on the battery will turn on but NOT the light on the game piece.


Step 3. Place the game piece on top of the Steel sheet that comes with the Circuit Scribe Kit and play.

Here’s my video to describe what I did…

(*I apologize for my voice and stuffiness, I’ve been sick all weekend*)


The more I think about this activity, I want to find a way to hide the drawings of the circuits, that way my students won’t be able to figure out the answer visually UNTIL they connect the battery and the LED light of the correct game piece.


The multimodal elements to this blog post, playing with the maker kit, connecting something random to the assignment (like the dominos set) and then presenting it through both photographic and video evidence helped me to understand more of what I was doing.  As I was practicing and playing with my maker kit, I took photos and video and looked it over, which eventually helped me come up with the idea. I also started replacing different circuit pieces to see what would happen with each.

Overall, I just think using different elements to connect the learning helped me understand the assignment better and think about where I was going with the activity I was creating.


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